- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- 2019 IEEE 16th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR)
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 874 to 879
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Toward goal-oriented robotic gait training: The effect of gait speed and stride length on lower extremity joint torquesRobot-assisted gait training is becoming increasingly common to support recovery of walking function after neurological injury. How to formulate controllers capable of promoting desired features in gait, i.e. goals, is complicated by the limited understanding of the human response to robotic input. A possible method to formulate controllers for goal-oriented gait training is based on the analysis of the joint torques applied by healthy subjects to modulate such goals. The objective of this work is to understand how sagittal plane joint torque is affected by two important gait parameters: gait speed (GS) and stride length (SL). We here present the results obtained from healthy subjects walking on a treadmill at different speeds, and asked to modulate stride length via visual feedback. Via principal component analysis, we extracted the global effects of the two factors on the peak-to-peak amplitude of joint torques. Next, we used a torque pulse approximation analysis to determine optimal timing and amplitude of torque pulses that approximate the SL-specific difference in joint torque profiles measured at different values of GS. Our results show a strong effect of GS on the torque profiles in all joints considered. In contrast, SL mostly affects the torque produced at the kneemore »
Transfemoral amputee gait often exhibits compensations due to the lack of ankle push-off power and control over swing foot position using passive prostheses. Powered prostheses can restore this functionality, but their effects on compensatory behaviors, specifically at the residual hip, are not well understood. This paper investigates residual hip compensations through walking experiments with three transfemoral amputees using a low-impedance powered knee-ankle prosthesis compared to their day-to-day passive prosthesis. The powered prosthesis used impedance control during stance for compliant interaction with the ground, a time-based push-off controller to deliver high torque and power, and phase-based trajectory tracking during swing to provide user control over foot placement. Experiments show that when subjects utilized the powered ankle push-off, less mechanical pull-off power was required from the residual hip to progress the limb forward. Overall positive work at the residual hip was reduced for 2 of 3 subjects, and negative work was reduced for all subjects. Moreover, all subjects displayed increased step length, increased propulsive impulses on the prosthetic side, and improved impulse symmetries. Hip circumduction improved for subjects who had previously exhibited this compensation on their passive prosthesis. These improvements in gait, especially reduced residual hip power and work, have the potentialmore »
Rehabilitation of human motor function is an issue of growing significance, and human-interactive robots offer promising potential to meet the need. For the lower extremity, however, robot-aided therapy has proven challenging. To inform effective approaches to robotic gait therapy, it is important to better understand unimpaired locomotor control: its sensitivity to different mechanical contexts and its response to perturbations. The present study evaluated the behavior of 14 healthy subjects who walked on a motorized treadmill and overground while wearing an exoskeletal ankle robot. Their response to a periodic series of ankle plantar flexion torque pulses, delivered at periods different from, but sufficiently close to, their preferred stride cadence, was assessed to determine whether gait entrainment occurred, how it differed across conditions, and if the adapted motor behavior persisted after perturbation. Certain aspects of locomotor control were exquisitely sensitive to walking context, while others were not. Gaits entrained more often and more rapidly during overground walking, yet, in all cases, entrained gaits synchronized the torque pulses with ankle push-off, where they provided assistance with propulsion. Furthermore, subjects entrained to perturbation periods that required an adaption toward slower cadence, even though the pulses acted to accelerate gait, indicating a neural adaptation ofmore »
Functional Resistance Training Differentially Alters Gait Kinetics After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Pilot Study
Quadriceps weakness is common after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction and can alter gait mechanics. Functional resistance training (FRT) is a novel approach to retraining strength after injury, but it is unclear how it alters gait mechanics. Therefore, we tested how 3 different types of FRT devices: a knee brace resisting extension (unidirectional brace), a knee brace resisting extension and flexion (bidirectional brace), and an elastic band pulling backwards on the ankle (elastic band)–acutely alter gait kinetics in this population.
The type of FRT device will affect ground-reaction forces (GRFs) during and after the training. Specifically, the uni- and bidirectional braces will increase GRFs when compared with the elastic band.
Level of Evidence:
A total of 15 individuals with ACL reconstruction received FRT with each device over 3 separate randomized sessions. During training, participants walked on a treadmill while performing a tracking task with visual feedback. Sessions contained 5 training trials (180 seconds each) with rest between. Vertical and anterior-posterior GRFs were assessed on the ACL-reconstructed leg before, during, and after training. Changes in GRFs were compared across devices using 1-dimensional statistical parametric mapping.
Resistance applied via bidirectional brace acutely increased gait kinetics during terminal stance/pre-swing (ie,more »
FRT after ACL reconstruction can acutely alter gait kinetics during training. Devices can be applied to selectively alter gait kinetics. However, the long-term effects of FRT after ACL reconstruction with these devices are still unknown.
FRT may be applied to alter gait kinetics of the involved limb after ACL reconstruction, depending on the device used.
Kinematic Trajectories in Response to Speed Perturbations in Walking Suggest Modular Task-Level Control of Leg Angle and Length
Navigating complex terrains requires dynamic interactions between the substrate, musculoskeletal, and sensorimotor systems. Current perturbation studies have mostly used visible terrain height perturbations, which do not allow us to distinguish among the neuromechanical contributions of feedforward control, feedback-mediated, and mechanical perturbation responses. Here, we use treadmill-belt speed perturbations to induce a targeted perturbation to foot speed only, and without terrain-induced changes in joint posture and leg loading at stance onset. Based on previous studies suggesting a proximo-distal gradient in neuromechanical control, we hypothesized that distal joints would exhibit larger changes in joint kinematics, compared to proximal joints. Additionally, we expected birds to use feedforward strategies to increase the intrinsic stability of gait. To test these hypotheses, seven adult guinea fowl were video recorded while walking on a motorized treadmill, during both steady and perturbed trials. Perturbations consisted of repeated exposures to a deceleration and acceleration of the treadmill-belt speed. Surprisingly, we found that joint angular trajectories and center of mass fluctuations remain very similar, despite substantial perturbation of foot velocity by the treadmill belt. Hip joint angular trajectories exhibit the largest changes, with the birds adopting a slightly more flexed position across all perturbed strides. Additionally, we observed increasedmore »